Strong Lifts 5×5 – Week 3 Results

I can’t believe that it has been 3 weeks since I started doing the Strong Lifts 5×5 Program and yesterday I was ready to call it quits. I stepped on the scale and was up from the last time I weighed.  I was brought to tears and was ready to order a pizza. The good news is that I didn’t order the pizza. I cooked up some salmon and a sweet potato and made a salad. I decided to wait until the morning to see what my stats would say.

I take my stats every Sunday morning. I always write the measurements down on scrap paper and then transfer them to my chart. I don’t like to look at the old numbers before I measure. I am afraid that subconsciously it would change the way I measure or how tight I pull the tape. 🙂 Once I was done measuring I weighed myself. I got the same number as yesterday. So I was up a few pounds from the last time, but the same as 3 weeks ago. Grrr. It was frustrating  BUT that isn’t the whole story. I had to compare my measurements to see if there have been any real changes.

Here is what I discovered and it blew my mind…..In the last 3 weeks I have lost 11 inches. Here is the breakdown:Bust -2, Upper Abs -3, Waist -3.5, Lower Abs -.5, Hips -1, Left Thigh -1. (Don’t ask me why but I only measure one thigh and I can’t accurately measure my upper arms so I don’t even try to do it.)

Here it is by week: Week One -3.5 inches, Week Two – 1.5 inches, Week Three – 6 inches.

I have considered throwing my scale out but I hope that eventually the scale will go down. I have about 40 more pounds to lose to reach my goal. Although if I end up weighing the same as now but can fit into my “goal” size I would be fine with that. 🙂 Inches mean more than pounds. Goodbye Fat – Hello Muscle!

Some of you may wonder exactly what I have been doing as far as eating and exercise. We (my sister and nephew) go to the gym 3 days a week to lift weights following the Strong Lifts 5×5 Program. ( Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday )

On most days that I am not lifting weights I have been doing an hour of cardio at the gym. I like the treadmill, elliptical and bikes. (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) Sometimes we just walk around the inside track. I do take 1 day a week off from everything.(Sunday or Monday)

I recently started using the Captain’s Chair on my weight lifting days. My nephew did a few reps and I thought I would see if I could even do it at all. I did about 9 or so. The next day my abs were very sore. I decided right then that I would do a few sets on my weight lifting days. The second time it hurt a lot doing them but I figure after a few times it shouldn’t be as sore. I guess I will find out.

I have been eating well and I am sure that helps. I am not eating grains (wheat, pasta, bread, rice…) I am not eating refined sugar (white, brown, corn syrup…) When I do bake up a treat it is a grain free recipe that might use the following: almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, molasses, honey, coconut sugar/palm sugar, eggs, cream, and butter. I don’t count calories or fat grams. I do eat carbs like white potatoes,sweet potatoes and fruits. I even allow myself an ounce of Vegi Straws as a crispy, salty treat in the afternoons. They are yummy!  They are carbs so I measure out 1 oz baggies to help me control portions. I haven’t eaten out much, maybe twice in the last 3 weeks. I don’t drink pop. I drink ice tea,  Lemonade , coffe or water.

Here is a sample of what I might eat during the day.

Pre-Weight Training – banana right when I get up & an Access Bar about 15 min before exercise

During Exercise: Sustain Sports Drink

After Weight Training/Breakfast – cottage cheese with fruit and coffee

Lunch – Salad with ham, cheese, hard boiled eggs, lettuce and dressing and some fruit

Snack – vegi straws

Dinner – Salmon with mayo on the side, potatoes with butter or sour cream , pea salad


I have been going to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m., and getting up about 5:20 a.m.

I workout between 6 am and 7 am. Then work at a desk job from 8-5.

Something else I am trying is the It Works Body Wrap. I did a wrap a few weeks ago and I did another one yesterday. I have one more that I will use on Tuesday.  I measured before and after and the wraps seems to make a difference. The first time I was down 1 inch in my lower abs and upper abs, but my waist stayed the same. I just don’t know if they would do the same thing if I wasn’t already eating right and working out. So I guess I like them but am not 100% sold on them. I started using them because a co-worker loves them. I want every advantage to getting healthier and thinner so I figured it couldn’t hurt. I also liked the idea of detoxing my body. Check out all the before and after pictures on the internet and decide for yourself if they are worth trying. They were kind of expensive. I bought a box of 4 and spend about $64 with tax and shipping. Four wraps is suppose to be one treatment. You can use them 72 hours apart.

Here are my weight lifting stats:

All weights listed below include the weight of the bar which is 45lbs when empty.

Squats : no weight just “air” squats ( I am trying to learn the form and get a little stronger before adding the bar. I tried it with the bar but my form was bad . My sister is doing squats at more that 90lb)

Bench Press:Started 45lb / Currently 65lb

Barbell Row: Started 65lb/Currently 85lb

Overhead Press: Started 45lb/ Currently 55lb

Deadlift: Started 95lb/ Currently 135lb

Each time we do an exercise we add 5lb but on the dead lift we add 10lb. Check out the link to the Strong Lifts 5×5 program to learn more.

Thanks to my sister for getting me started on this program. I enjoy it and actually look forward to weight lifting days. 🙂

I am happy with the results so far. I have committed to doing the entire 12 weeks of the 5×5 program. That will take me up to June. I am looking forward to how much stronger and healthier I am going to be.

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Never to Old To Try Something New

I did something new this morning. I started lifting weights. My sister started doing a program and it sounded interesting so I thought why not? 🙂 The program is called Strong Lifts 5×5. It is easy to find the information on line if you want to know more about it.

Today we started with squats using an empty bar. The bar itself weighs 45 pounds. That doesn’t sound like much but it feels like a lot more. I wasn’t able to do it with even the empty bar. Oh, I could get down, well maybe not far enough as I should, but it was the standing back up part that I failed at. So, I ended up doing box squats with no bar. I felt like a failure but I will get there once I build up some strength.

The next thing we did was the bench press. I was able to do those with the empty bar. Yay!! I did my 5 sets of 5 ok.

The last exercise was the barbell rows aka Pendlay Rows. It was a struggle to get my form right. The weight we started at was 65 which included the weight of the bar. My heart was pumping hard and I felt lightheaded when I stood up after finishing my set, but I did it. 5 sets of 5 DONE!

My muscles are a little sore which I expected. It is my lower back that concerns me. It goes out if I use bad form when bowling or even using a vacuum. Right now it feels a little sore but I did some stretches, sat on ice and took some ibuprofen. I am hoping that all of that works.

Our next session will be Monday morning before work. We will do the squats and then we will do the overhead press and the dead lift. I am looking forward to it if I can still walk by Monday. 🙂

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Lite Mocha Frappe

My mom has been drinking a lot of the iced coffee drinks you can buy in a can like soda. I found a recipe for her. She really liked it until we figured out that 2 cups of it had 60 carbs. Yikes!!!

In the meantime I came across a recipe for Mocha Frappe that I thought sounded good. We tried it the other night and it instantly became a favorite treat for us both.

Here is the link to the blog:

■ 8 oz. cold brewed coffee
■ ½ cup milk ( I used 2%)
■ ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
■ 1-2 tbsp Truvia natural sweetener (I used Stevia in the Raw)
■ 2 cups ice
■ 1 tbsp cocoa powder (natural unsweetened)

1.Add all ingredients to blender.
2.Pulse or use ice crushing setting to pulverize ice until all the ice is crushed.
3.Mix on high speed for 15-30 seconds
4.Serve (This makes 2 servings.)

What I did different:

I only used about 1 tablespoon of Stevia. That was about 8-9 packets.

I also double the amount of cocoa.

I tried it with different extracts too. The first time I tried peppermint. It was good but a little strong. Next time I try peppermint I will put half as much in. The second time I added coconut extract.

Mom had some vanilla, whipped cream in a spray can. We added a little to the top of each serving. At Wal-Mart I found the Reddi-wip No Fat version. It has only 5 calories and 1 carb per 2 tablespoons.

I figured the calories and carbs as made with 2% milk and 2 tablespoons of Reddi-wip. For each serving: 36 Calories and 3 Carbs

You could drink the whole thing and still be under 100 calories! Great treat to have in the summer or as a pick me up. 🙂  

Cocoa & Ice  Ingredients   Put in a blender until ice is crushed.    


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Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”

 The finished product. Banana Cocoa Ice Cream   I found an idea for banana ice cream on Pinterest. Here is the link:

Frozen Banana Slices
Cocoa Powder ( I used a few teaspoons.)
Peanut Butter ( I used about a tablespoon.)

Individually Freeze Banana Slices on Parchment Lined Cookie SheetAhead of time slice up a few bananas and put in the freezer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Once frozen you can put the slices into a freezer bag and use as needed. Store frozen slices  for use later.

(By the way the frozen banana slices are great eaten right out of the freezer.)



Frozen banana a few minutes in the food processor.Put the banana slices into the food processor and turn on.

It will turn into coarse pieces after a little bit.



After adding cocoa and peanut butter to whipped bananas. Keep whipping until it becomes creamy.

Add cocoa powder  and peanut butter and continue to blend.

Eat it now or put it into the freezer and enjoy later.



The texture was like a thick Wendy’s frosty. It obviously tasted a lot like banana. I wish I had added more cocoa so the chocolate flavor would have been stronger. I am not sure the peanut butter was needed. Next time I will try it without the peanut butter.

I think I will try adding some coconut extract or mint extract the next time I make it. I also will try topping it with some chopped almonds or peanuts. That would make it seem even more like real icecream.  

It was creamy, tasty and made me feel like I was eating something that was bad for me. 🙂  I am sure I will make it a lot when the weather turns hot.


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Low Carb Nachos


Steak Nacho Ingredients      Steak Nacho - Yum

Lately I have been wanting something different to eat. I wanted to feel like I was splurging without actually having to break my good eating habits. 

I took some ingredients I had left over and mixed up some yummy nachos.



2 Low Carb Tortillas

1/3 Cup Shredded Cheese

Salsa and/or Peppers to Taste

Cooked Steak Cut into small pieces

Let me tell you about the steak I used. Yesterday I found a package of steak in the freezer. I don’t know what kind it was. I cooked it in the crock pot with some canned, roasted, red peppers, jalapeno peppers and taco seasoning. The first night I used it for fajitas. They were yummy. I thought they would work perfect for steak nachos. I just cut them up into smaller pieces and warmed them up in the microwave. Easy and Tasty!


Cut tortillas into wedges. Put tortilla wedges (chips) on a cookie sheet and place under a broiler until golden brown. Flip the chips over and put back under the broiler until golden brown and crispy.

Take chips out of the oven and place on a plate. Sprinkle  with shredded cheese and microwave until melted. Top with steak and salsa.


(I didn’t use any sour cream but the other night when I had fajitas I used a little bit of plain, greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It was ok but not great. )

Cut up tortillas   Toasting Tortillas

Melting Cheese

Steak Nachos

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The Saturday Morning Struggle – Give in…or….Overcome?

It is Saturday morning. 🙂 I don’t have to go to work so I stayed up a little too late last night. It has been a week since I started keeping my food journal. I had put my scale away because I didn’t want to focus so much on my weight. I want to make lasting changes in my life. But, I knew I wanted to weigh myself every now and then just to see. Well, I shouldn’t have bothered. I feel like I have been pretty good when it comes to my eating, with the exception of the steak nachos. I have turned down sweets and avoided sugary drinks. I haven’t eaten out. I have cut down on my carbs. I am trying.

When I weighed myself I was only down 1 pound. 😦 But I did measure myself and I lost an inch from my bust, upper abs, lower abs, waist and hips. The negative voice in my head is telling me that I must have been pulling the measuring tape a little tighter this time and that is why the inches are less. I am fighting that inner voice though. I didn’t let it drive me to eat out of control.

For a while I contemplated throwing in the towel and calling it quits for today. Why torture myself if I don’t see any results. I might as well enjoy a Frappe and some pizza, right? WRONG!!!

I know, and I will keep telling myself, that if I continue to watch what I eat and if I start to exercise more, I will see those results I want. I need to just “stay the course” and I will be happy in a few months when the craving for sugar is no longer a struggle and my clothes fit better.

I plan to be more vigilant in my eating. I plan to add more exercise to my schedule. I can’t expect to have the same results as when I was walking 2 miles a day and going to Curves 3x a week if I am not doing any exercise. Duh!!

I contacted my mom to see if she wanted to take a walk and we will be headed out soon. I know we should get about 3 miles in and when I am done I will feel so much better. I will have the ability to avoid the temptations that are always around me on the weekend.

I am proud of myself today. Instead of giving in I am going to overcome.

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It is 3pm. Do you know where your snack is?

I can pretty much tell you when it is about 3pm on any given work day, without looking at a clock. It is usually around 3pm that I start to get hungry and I need a snack.

Today I brought what I thought was a Cutie with me for my afternoon snack. Cuties, are wonderful, little, mandarin oranges that are seedless and sooooo easy to peel, they almost peel themselves. I love the fact that they are smaller than a regular orange too.

I started to peel it and it quickly became clear that this was not a Cutie. It was a regular orange. It was hard to peel and then it didn’t taste very good, so I didnt’ even eat it. Now I was stuck without a snack. 😦

Not 5 minutes later a couple walked in to my office. It was the owner of a new business in town that does people’s taxes. She had with her a guy that was dressed up in a Statue of Liberty costume. I had seen someone in that costume standing on the street corner just last week. I told him that I hoped they paid him well.

They were drumming up business and handing out referral coupons for $50. Then as they were leaving they handed me gift. What was it? A bag of candy. I don’t know what kind of candy because I immediately put it on my bosses desk. Since I don’t want to eat it myself there is no reason to investigate that bag that was stuffed full and was bigger than my hand.

I did it. I avoided temptation. On any other “normal” day I would have been digging into that candy before those people had even made it to their car 🙂  but not today. Today, even though I don’t have my healthy snack I am not giving in and eating junk. It is time I make a new normal for myself.

Whoo Hoooooo! Way to go ME!!

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I have the choice of how I will react, and this time I picked the right one.

I am fighting the strong desire to be in a sad, depressed mood. What started out as a good day didn’t really end that way. I had a good day at work followed by a stop at the grocery store. I picked up some healthy food for a snack while we watch the Biggest Loser. I go down to my mom’s to watch it every week with her and my grandparents.

We were just getting ready to start the show when my grandpa shows me a picture. He loves to go through old pictures. It is one of his winter hobbies. You never know what he will find. So, he shows me a picture of him, my sister-in-law and myself that was taken when I was probably 17 or 18 years old. I didn’t really try to figure out the year, but it was during the time that I was at my thinnest.

He was holding a wild turkey in the picture and I thought that is why he was showing it to me. He asked me if it was me in the picture. I said it was. The fact that he asked me that wasn’t a red flag. My sister and I did look a lot like each other. There are some pictures that I can’t tell if it is me or her at first glance. So I handed the photo back to him. Then he asked me if I noticed anything, about myself. That was followed by something along the lines of, “Never mind I guess I shouldn’t say anything”. So, I figured he was thinking something negative. I quickly said, “What? I am fat. Is that what you are getting at?.” His reply was that yes, I looked much different.

You should know this about my gpa, I love him very much and I treasure the time I am able to spend with him. It is for that reason, and that reason alone, that I did not yell at him in anger or break out into tears.

He went on to tell me that he is probably within 10 pounds of what he was back then.  At that point my mom said a few things to try to help the situation and then my grandmother was telling him to just quit while he was ahead or behind or whatever. He tried to justify himself by saying that he was trying to encourage me or something to that effect. I told him that nobody would be calling him to be a motivational speaker anytime soon so he better keep his day job.

I know I look much different from when I was 17. I have small wrinkles and fine lines in my face, my hair would be grey if I didn’t color it, I have an ugly, brown, age spot on my left cheek that I can’t seem to cover with any kind of make-up, try as I might, and I am probably 70-80 pounds heavier.

It hurts to have people point out your faults. I know that I can’t hide all the weight under my clothes. It is obvious to everybody that sees me that I am over-weight. But it really did hurt that he kept out a picture that he came across just so he could make a point to let me know I have gained a lot of weight. It was just plain mean!

But you know what? I am making the choice to not over-react to the situation. He is after all,  just saying something that most of my family has probably been thinking about me for years.

Now, I will admit that I did shed a few tears on the way home , but I am not going have an emotional melt down just because my feelings got hurt. I won’t allow it to cause me to use food as a way to cope with my emotions. I am going to put a stop to that vicious cycle. That is after all the reason I am over-weight.

I will count tonight as one of my small victories. Something else I will try to do is to focus on the good in other people. I will try to use my words to encourage others and not tear them down. Tonight was a good lesson on how hurtful words can be.

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Turn a cake mix into a low fat treat.

Devils Food Pumpkin CupcakeI saw this “recipe” on Pinterest and thought I would try it.


         1 – Box of Cake Mix ( I used Devil’s Food)
         1 -15 oz can of canned pumpkin (100% Pumpkin)

Mix the two items together. Do not add any of the ingredients listed on the box of cake mix. Just use the dry mix.

I decided to make cupcakes. I filled 12 muffin cups and I had a some left over, so I put the extra in a small glass dish to bake.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 16-18 minutes.

Cupcakes made with Pumpking and Cake Mix

My Review:

I couldn’t even taste the pumpkin. It just tasted like chocolate to me. The texture was very moist and not any different from what I would expect from a cupcake. I am sure I could feed one of these cupcakes to my husband and he would never know the difference.  I plan on trying it the next time he is home. 🙂 Shhhh Our Secret!!

I ate one right when it came out of the oven. Yum! No need for frosting I like them plain.

                                             Nutritional Value: (based on the info from the packages I used)

                                   Made as shown above      vs         If you followed directions on cake mix. Calories                                       134                                                                 280

Fat                                               1.3 g                                                              14 g

Carbs                                           29                                                                   35

It would be hard for me to proclaim this “recipe” as healthy.  But when you want something sweet or need something for a special occasion why not try to make it as healthy as possible? I think these cupcakes would be great to take to a carry-in dinner or for a birthday party. Next time I am taking cupcakes to a function you can bet I am making them like this.

It would be interesting to see if you could do the same type of substitution with a cake made from scratch. Anybody want to try that and let me know how it worked for you?


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I did it! I didn’t give in!

As I walked out of church this morning and headed for my car, my thoughts were on lunch. I had some yummy egg casserole waiting for me at home. The problem was that I didn’t want that. I wanted fast food. I wanted a greasy hamburger & fries or a taco salad in a fried tortilla bowl. I sat in the car contemplating what to do. I even looked in my purse to see what cash I had on hand.

I knew what was causing the cravings. I am an emotional eater, remember. When I have to go to church by myself I get lonely. The worship part of the service just isn’t the same without the sound of my husband’s booming voice as he sings along. He loves to sing and I love listening to him.  Later, sitting in the pew  and trying to focus on the sermon my thoughts once again turn to my hubby. I wish he was there to put his arm around me or hold my hand.

I was lonely and it was making me want to give in and eat anything and everything that is bad for me. It was an epic battle for sure. I have been there before, several times in fact. Sometimes I won and other times I suffered miserable defeat.

I started to remind myself that I need to make small changes in my daily life in order to see results. I thought about the fact that I was able to resist the craving I had for sweets yesterday. I could resist today too.

I started up the car and headed straight home. I warmed up a big slice of Yummy Egg Casserole and put a few slices of homemade, wheat bread in the toaster. I had won the battle. I did not make a trip through the drive-thru.

After eating my lunch I started to crave something sweet. I fought it for a while and then decided that I needed to get up and start moving or I would cave in. I grabbed the shovel and took out some frustration on the snow in my driveway. It worked. I feel much better.

These may sound like small victories but I know that all these small victories will add up.

I am so proud of myself.

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